Mark Spoonauer has posted an extensive interview revolving around the HP 2133 Mini-Note with the Mini-Note’s product manager, Kyle Thornton, and it includes their view on the competition in the netbook/subnotebook market. Kyle makes it clear that education was originally the number one target audience, but that consumers/travelers are making themselves known. He also mentions the upcoming competition with Dell and Acer in the 8.9-inch market.
One of the most interesting things is the size of the market – he sees it as somewhere between the 3-million to 10-million that various groups and companies are predicting.
Some select excerpts:
Has consumer interest in the Mini-Note met your expectations thus far?
Honestly, the reaction has been beyond our expectations. It has far exceeded the most similar type of response in our history, which was the launch of the iPAQ. All the worldwide press coverage has surpassed the iPAQ reaction.
Do you believe ASUS blazed the trail for the mini-notebook market?
I do give ASUS credit for being the first one out. It is always tough being the first guy out there. But being first, on the other hand, doesnâ€™t always mean you did the right thing. I think them switching from a 7-inch to an 8.9-inch screen tells you they missed the mark on the first product. I think in this market, which is clearly in flux, there is room for mistakes. It sounds like they are getting their ducks in a row, but they have done a good job forging the way.
How important is the fact that customers will soon be able to configure their own Mini-Note?
I think that is going to be huge. Right now we have fixed configurations just to get the manufacturing ramped up. There is a lot of complexity involved in configure-to-order. We will start to broaden options and allow people to customize their machine. It will be very open and HP will allow people to really order what they want. We will be expanding our offerings; XP will be launched in middle of May so customers will have a choice between Linux, Vista, and XP. You will be able to choose RAM size and hard drive size. Lots of people donâ€™t want to be cornered into a fixed configuration
Article: LAPTOP Magazine